Album Review: Coldplay – A Head Full Of Dreams

Coldplay’s seventh (and possibly final?) full album brings a positive and uplifting vibe while inviting a who’s who of special guests.

 

Text Review:

Only a year and a half after the release of Ghost Stories, arguably the most down tempo and somber in a two decade discography, Coldplay return with an early Christmas present with A Head Full of Dreams.  And without any surprise the music world spanning many genres has once again shifted attention to one of the most famous bands in the world.

While rumors are flying about the band not being sure if this is their final album or not, Coldplay are going on a full tour in support of A Head Full of Dreams, an album that consists of a wildly diverse cast of support, including Beyonce, Gweneth Paltrow, Noel Gallagher and a recorded clip of President Obama.

The speculation on what style A Head Full of Dreams will be has been the big question for many fans, where Ghost Stories resembled the slower brooding style and the previous release Mylo Xyloto had more of an upbeat feeling.   Coldplay albums can usually be categorized and compared to each other in style, but rarely to other bands.

According to Chris Martin though, being compared to other bands and fitting in doesn’t have to be the issue anymore.  In an interview done on USA today, Martin said:  “Sometimes we weren’t sure where we fit in (musically). But with this album, we’re embracing the fact that we don’t have to fit in anywhere.”

Fitting in musically isn’t really an issue though as Coldplay have lived in their own individual music world for years now.  And the release of the song Adventure Of A Lifetime is where we were first introduced to the overall style of their seventh full album.

This song is the upbeat and uplifting style that many Coldplay fans have not heard in a while.  The chanting and high chord guitars matched with the rhythm that hooks you in make Adventure Of A Lifetime an instant earworm.  It’s a song that is difficult to sing along to but easy to move with.  Hearing “You make me feel like I’m alive again” matched with the background vocal and the guitars MAKE this song destined to be a commercial and movie trailer background.

In many ways Adventure Of A Lifetime perfectly embodies and represents the overall upbeat and positive effect that caries A Head Full Of Dreams.  It’s a stark contrast to Ghost Stories and the broken heart themes.  Even in the slower more reflective songs like Up&UP and Hymn For The Weekend you can still feel the positive tone.

A Head Full Of Dreams truly feels like the positive counterpart to 2014’s Ghost Stories.  Even if this album cements the fact that Coldplay have gone from alternative to full pop-rock, it still doesn’t discredit the band in any way of their ability and passion to create something memorable.

Along with Beyonce’s help (even if her role is pretty minimal in the track), Hymn For The Weekend is another example of a future backing song to Apple commercials as is Adventure Of A Lifetime.  Lyrically it isn’t quite as strong as other tracks while including the repeated phrase of “I’m feeling drunk and high”, but the song still feels enjoyable to listen to.

It is difficult to gauge where the long time Coldplay fans will place their value on A Head Full Of Dreams as compared to their past discography.  While there are a few songs that fall by the wayside at not really catching your attention, there are other songs on here that define Coldplay as what they have evolved to over the past 15+ years.

Coldplay has one of the widest variety of fanbases that most bands can’t even dream of, from the casual to the long time listeners from the year 2000.  While A Headful Of Dreams may not strike most fans or even casual alternative listeners as Coldplay’s greatest album, it will still be recognized as belonging with the rest of their discography.

Overall, A Head Full Of Dreams brings Coldplay back to the lighter and brighter style they have been known to pepper throughout their previous albums.  While it may not have most people throwing money at iTunes for the instant download, it will still satisfy many fans who know who to turn to when they want to be lost in their own world of music.

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Album Review: Coldplay – A Head Full Of Dreams